Parotitis, more commonly known as “mumps”, is a contagious viral disease that affects one or both parotid glands (major salivary glands) situated behind the ascending rami of the mandible. It is caused by the mumps virus and typically affects children and teenagers, although it may also cause infections in sensitive adults. In general, the disease produces lifetime immunity, and it may be prevented by the administration of the combined MMR vaccine. Mumps may affect other glands in the body, the central nervous system and the testicles. The most frequent complications are meningitis and testicular inflammation which may lead to infertility. This inflammation of the testicle is also known as mumps orchitis. It is not very frequent, affecting 1 per million inhabitants per year among the general population. […]
Owing to sociocultural and economic factors, there has been a considerable increase in recent years in the number of men over the age of 35 who wish to have children. As a couple ages, the probability that they will experience reproductive problems increases. The negative effect of maternal age on fertility has been widely documented and we know that fertility diminishes drastically after the age of 39. Maternal aging is also associated with miscarriage, pregnancy complications, congenital anomalies and an increase in perinatal mortality.
However, few studies analyse the effect of paternal age on success after the application of assisted reproduction technology (ART) and the results they provide are contradictory. It is true that the male reproductive function is less vulnerable than the female where the aging process is concerned, as is demonstrated by the fact that many babies have been born spontaneously to fathers who are in their seventies or eighties. However, some associations have been found in specific studies that relate a negative effect of advanced paternal age with: […]
In most laboratories, embryo transfer traditionally takes place on day 2 to 3 of culture, or during blastocyst stage, whilst embryo transfer on day 4 is an alternative that has not commonly been adopted into laboratory practice.
When compared with embryo transfer during early stages, blastocyst transfer is generally accepted as superior. This is mainly for reasons of improved synchronisation between the embryo and the endometrium and more objective embryo selection once the genome has been activated. It means that a smaller number of embryos can be transferred, thus avoiding the risk of a multiple pregnancy. […]
IMSI, or Intracytoplasmic morphologically selected sperm injection, is a technique that became popular over a decade ago. It uses a very high-power microscope to examine and select the sperm that will then be introduced in the egg with the aim of increasing the possibilities of a successful implantation and reducing the probabilities of miscarriage. […]
From the very moment when sperm fertilises an ova, a new embryo starts developing and a large number of cell divisions take place. This embryo development is observed in an in vitro fertilisation laboratory up until the blastocyst stage (day 5 or 6 of development). Sometimes during the cell division process, fragments of the embryo become isolated between cells that have developed correctly. These fragments come from embryo cell remains and can stop the embryo from developing correctly. One of the negative impacts consists of issues reaching the blastocyst stage and the posterior impact on implantation in the uterus. In fact, embryo fragmentation is one of the most significant characteristics used to determine embryo quality. […]
Are sterility and infertility the same?
No, they are two completely different concepts.
Sterility is the inability to conceive whilst infertility is the inability to complete a full term pregnancy and give birth to a healthy child. […]
Pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) is a technique that provides a ‘genetic understanding’ of the embryo before it is transferred to the uterus. Thanks to this technique, we are able to study the embryo’s chromosomal make-up and determine if it is a carrier of a hereditary condition of any kind. This information helps us to select the embryos that will lead to the birth of a healthy child. But how do we obtain this information?
Work is currently being carried out to discover non-invasive means of gathering genetic information from the embryo but, to date, the only means is an embryo biopsy. What is an embryo biopsy? […]
Genetics guidance is the exchange through which an expert in genetics provides patients and their families with information and support on a genetic condition, inheriting that condition, the risk of recurrence and the implications for the individual and his or her family.
The aim of genetics guidance is to support the decision-making process whilst taking the patient’s values and beliefs into account, and to proceed based on the decision taken.
In the specific case of reproduction guidance, it is a question of guiding couples who are in a reproductive stage of their lives and who wish to have children and/or who are currently expecting a child. Therefore, we generally have two types of patients who need reproduction guidance. Whilst there are fundamental differences between the two, the aims of the guidance process remain the same and include: […]
Improving embryo culture by mimicking the conditions generated during in vivo culture is a key contributor towards improving success rates in couples who turn to in vitro fertilisation in order to solve their sterility issue.
In vitro culture of human embryos has traditionally been carried out in incubators in a controlled atmosphere at 6% CO2 and 21% O2. However, based on studies carried out on different species of mammals, we know that these conditions do not match those found in vivo in the fallopian tubes and the uterus where oxygen tension ranges between 2 and 8%. […]
These are just some of the questions that couples might ask at an important time during their treatment, just before embryo transfer.
In all cases of fertility treatment involving the in vitro fertilisation (IVF) laboratory, it is essential that all couples are given extensive, detailed and personalised information. This means talking about the embryo fertilisation and development processes.
When only a few fertilised oocytes are available as a result of poor ovarian reserve, transfer is carried out on day 2 or 3 of development in around 60% of cases because at this stage we can clearly select the embryos that are suitable for transfer. In around half of these cases it is not possible to cryopreserve embryos for future attempts. […]